Mitch McConnell. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said Republicans would fill a Supreme Court vacancy even if it occurs during the 2020 presidential election cycle.

"Oh, we'd fill it ... What can't be undone is a life-time appointment to a young man or woman who believes in the quaint notion that the job of the judge is to follow the law."
— McConnell said at a luncheon speech in Kentucky

Why it matters: With 53 seats, Republicans could confirm a nominee in 2020 regardless of Democratic challenge. Three of the 9 Supreme Court justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas — are 70 or older.

The backdrop: In 2016, McConnell refused President Obama's Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, saying: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” per Politico. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

  • The Senator dodged a similar questions posed in October 2018, saying: “We’ll see if there is a vacancy."

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Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.